The One Thing They Don’t Tell You About BJJ

…Is all the laundry you’ll be doing.

You step into your local academy- a friendly instructor takes you through an intro session, or you take your first beginner class, and some higher rank takes you through what you should do and expect: you bow on and off the mat, shake hands with your partner, drill this, locker room is there, you’ll progress, lose weight, become (slightly) more athletic and agile, feel amazing….

What they don’t tell you is “you may want to buy a membership from Costco just for detergent and dryer sheets, ’cause you’re gonna use a lot. Like, a lot.” 

It’s actually true of all sports and heavy involvement with any physical activity, but you have been, or will be doing a heck of a lot of laundry to maintain your hygiene. There is a brief mention of always wearing a clean gi, but it’s a deceptively simple sentence.

“Oh, keep your gi clean,” you say to yourself, “easy enough!”

And it is easy in the beginning, when you are only training a couple of times a week.

Until you train everyday, or sometimes twice a day. In the summer. And maybe you’re a girl, and so you have to wear a sports bra. And I really hope everyone, guy or girl is wearing a bottom set of underwear (don’t laugh, that’s not always the case- why do you think IBJJF mentions athletes wearing underwear in their rule book?)

And we’re not even talking about no-gi and all the other accessories you may have to wear: rashguards, board shorts, assorted braces….the list goes on and on. The good news is your training partners greatly appreciate your efforts to keep yourself clean and smelling fresh. So, you have that going for you.

So, if you get bit by the BJJ bug, and become heavily involved and train all the time, prepare yourself- you’re going to be doing a lot of laundry.




Filed under bjj

3 responses to “The One Thing They Don’t Tell You About BJJ

  1. I had a debate with my uniform this morning. I wear the same gi most if the time (damn internetborne ill fitting gi sales!), and I wash it… Once a week? Sometimes less? I wear (clean) layers underneath it, and never personally stink (that I know of!), so it seems to work for me? But this morning I got paranoid that maybe I wouldn’t be able to smell my own sweat on my gi, even though I gave it a good sniffdown. Harrumph. Paranoia town! Washing it tonight to be safe.

    Course, I did have one of the guys randomly say last week, while rolling, “you smell like baby powder… Why do you always smell like baby powder?!” (Try whispering that in someone’s ear while you sink a choke…) So maybe my sweat smells like baby powder? I definitely don’t use the stuff. 🙂

    The other thing they don’t tell you is that you’ll be washing your gis in a wash all of their own, and then leaving them hanging around the house while they dry.

  2. Funny. I actually do the whole houses laundry because I’m constantly in the basement and need extra clothes to fill the load.

  3. Ivymere

    Tell me about it. I just started 2 months ago and have 2 gis. I wash after each class and it is killing me because my landlord charges $2/load. 😦

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